Your doctor will ask about your
health history. He or she will also do a physical exam and certain tests.
Questions commonly asked during the exam may include:
- When do headaches occur?
- What is the location of the
- What do the headaches feel like?
- How long do the headaches last?
- Have there been changes in behavior or
- Do changes in position or sitting up
cause the headache?
- Do you have trouble sleeping?
- Do you have a history of stress?
- Do you have a history of head
- Do you have other symptoms during a headache?
If your doctor suspects migraine or
tension-type headaches and the nervous system exam is normal, you may not need any
further testing. But it is not a primary type headache, or if you have uncommon
symptoms, other tests may be done to find the cause.
Tests used to find the cause of a headache may include:
Blood tests. Various blood and other
tests may be done to check for underlying conditions.
Sinus X-rays. An imaging procedure
done to look for congestion or other problems that may be corrected.
MRI. A test that uses a combination
of large magnets, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs
and structures within the body.
CT scan. An imaging test that uses
X-rays and computer technology to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows
detailed images of bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than
Spinal tap (lumbar puncture). This may be done to rule
out inflammation, infection, or high pressure in the spinal fluid